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Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities Paperback – December 17, 2013
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About the Author
Kevin Kelly's website is kk.org.
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I page through it often and spend a lot of time reading about specific topics of interest to me - and I always learn new things - and even give attention to areas I'll probably never use.
It's a wish book and a daydream book and a down-and-dirty reality book. Nothing since the WEC has been as continually fascinating and educational. It reminds me of a New Age Sears Catalog of everything available - especially tools, which have always fascinated me.
I like that the book is easier to navigate than the site, which is still great for browsing, and though many of the tools reviewed are too esoteric for my direct use, it is still vastly interesting.
The type is a tad small. I keep wanting to command + it up to decent reading size for my elderly eyes, but I keep a bright lamp nearby for reading.
It's over-sized and heavy, and it's not comfortable reading closer to my eyes like most books. So I hunker down over it - maybe I should buy a podium desk, since they're listed along with everything else in the book. Or I might have given in five stars.
As a former editor of Fine Homebuilding magazine, I thought I knew a bit about tools. Not anymore. Kelly and his crew have put together the most exhaustive, inventive and mind-bending selection of stuff I've ever seen. For starters, their definition of tools encompasses more or less every human activity on earth. So in addition to hand jacks that can raise 7000 lbs., the Teeny Turner (a pocket sized driver), portable band saws, and laser measuring tools, you can find the best source on how to buy a car cheaply, make a low-budget movies, brew your own beer, rear an optimistic child, design a logo, win a fight, soak in feral (!) hot springs, learn to swim efficiently, prepare for a natural disaster, vagabond the world, do something dangerous (and live to tell about it), run for local office and win, go solar on your roof, or (a great boon to Boomers) remember anything.
This list doesn't scratch the surface of what's in COOL TOOLS and that's one of the things that makes it so irresistible--you return to it again and again. Open it at random and you experience something like being six again, with a child's sense of delight and wonder at how clever people can be and what abundance this world holds. Like the Whole Earth Catalogue from 40 years ago, COOL TOOLS might just delight and empower a new generation of people who love learning--and doing. A most remarkable book.